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What is Crippling Depression?

SUN Kentucky What is Crippling Depression?

I Can’t Get Out of Bed: Crippling Depression and Me

I didn’t get out of bed the other day. It was a Wednesday, which meant I had to call in sick to work. More than a few times that day I worried I’d lose my job. Was I actually sick? If I wasn’t, that means I lied. Thinking about that made me feel even worse. Eventually I cried about that, which ended up making me feel even worse.

This wasn’t boredom. It wasn’t just me feeling lazy, or like I’d rather not work that day because of some stupid report I had to do, or because there was a person I didn’t want to talk to. Days like that I always ended up rolling out of bed and doing what I had to.

I know it might be hard to understand because I didn’t understand it at one point. One time when someone told me they were depressed I said something like, “We should just do something fun!” They were my friend, so it wasn’t like I was being mean, or trying to hurt them. I really did want to help.

I’ve felt the kind of sadness that could be nudged aside by doing something fun. This isn’t that. If someone managed to get me out of bed that morning and put me on a roller coaster it wouldn’t have mattered. The wind would have ruffled my hair and slid across my face and I still would have felt empty.

That’s what it really feels like. “Sad” isn’t a big enough word sometimes. You know how you have this feeling of being solid, you wake up and are real and a part of the day? My crippling depression feels like I’m not there, like I’m not even connected to the day. It’s not exhaustion, it’s a total emptiness.

The scariest part is that I wondered if it would ever get better. If I could get past that emptiness and feel whole again. It made me cry again (it has made me cry a lot, honestly), but it also helped me realize I needed help. There was a way to fill up that emptiness inside me and to feel connected to the day again.

All I had to do was ask for help. That wasn’t easy but I did it. Now I want you to know you can do it too.

What Is Crippling Depression?

Although some depression can feel crippling and can actually make you feel as if you can’t do anything, can’t succeed, or can’t move to even try, the term “crippling depression” is really a different way to talk about clinical depression.

The Mayo Clinic defines clinical depression as “...the more-severe form of depression, also known as major depression or major depressive disorder.” This also means it is not the same as a depressive episode that is temporary and may be a result of trauma or loss, or a medical condition.

Not only can the symptoms of clinical depression be severe but some of them will not go away without professional treatment. These symptoms can include

  • Intense feelings of sadness and/or hopelessness
  • Irritability and/or frustration
  • Feelings of rage and/or outbursts of anger
  • No longer being interested in hobbies or normal activities
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Lack of energy that may lead to struggling to do small tasks
  • Rapid and irregular weight loss/gain
  • Sluggish thinking and motor functions
  • Increased anxiety and/or restlessness
  • Feeling as if you are worthless
  • A focus on your failures (perceived or otherwise) and a persistent sense of guilt
  • Recurring thoughts of suicide, death, or planning/attempting suicide

If someone is experiencing any of these symptoms, and in fact continues to experience any of these symptoms, they may be struggling with clinical depression. Some of them are scary and can make a person feel like there is no hope. That is one of the reasons we focus on the importance of reaching out, of talking, and of listening.

How To Help Someone With Crippling Depression (ie Clinical Depression)?

Sometimes it’s not possible to know when someone is truly struggling with clinical depression. They may be telling you they are fine, that they’re just tired, or that they are only sad, and it will get better. The first step you can take to helping them is also one of the biggest.

Listen and lend them your support. Make sure they know you are there for them no matter what, and are ready to listen, and then listen some more. Clinical depression does not represent weakness or failure, and it is not something that develops because someone is “just sad.”

But that naturally leads to a big question.

What Causes Clinical Depression?

It’s not a satisfactory answer, but it’s the truth: there is no one thing that causes clinical depression. As reported by Harvard Medical School, it’s “more complex” than one chemical imbalance within the brain, whether that’s too much or too little of something that is naturally occurring in our bodies.

Yes, chemical imbalances can play a role, but so can environmental factors and other medical conditions unrelated to chemical imbalances. The truth is, even though our bodies are all more or less the same (with exceptions, of course), the way all of those complex puzzle pieces of our brains and body chemistry work together means we’re all incredibly different, as well.

Depression may affect you differently than it does someone else, or maybe even how it affects a sibling or parent. This is one way we can see that depression isn’t caused by one or two things.

How You Can Recover From a Major Depressive Disorder?

Once you have asked for help, the ways you will recover from clinical depression will be guided by professionals who care deeply about you. SUN Behavioral not only has a psychiatrist available to help with medications that may need prescribed and adjusted, but utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), an evidence-based treatment for your depression.

It may not be a simple or quick process. Discovering how your depression affects you and which treatments will put you back on a path toward lifelong recovery can be difficult. SUN Behavioral can help, however. You can begin by completing an online assessment to determine if it’s time to reach out for help with your depression.

SUN Behavioral has depression treatment available for children, adolescents, teens, and adults including seniors. Our outpatient services allow you to live at home and visit SUN for treatment on a schedule that helps you maintain day-to-day life.

We Are Ready To Help You With Depression

SUN Behavioral is dedicated to working together with you and your loved ones, as well as with communities from across the country to solve unmet needs. We know the struggle to get treatment for clinical depression can feel impossible to overcome. If you or someone you know is currently in the middle of that struggle, please remember someone can help. Call us today at (859) 429-5188. You are worth it.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Crippling Mental Illness?

A “crippling mental illness” is just another way to describe a mental illness that is major and requires treatment in order to recover. Some forms of depression can feel like you are incapable of doing anything (such as getting out of bed) so the word “crippling” is sometimes used to refer to how they feel.

What Is the Most Serious Form of Depression?

The most serious form of depression is major depression, or a major depressive disorder, as defined by the Mayo Clinic. This is a form of depression that is not related to any temporary aspects of life such as the death of a loved one or a treatable medical condition.

What Triggers Homicidal Thoughts in Depression?

There is no one reason for homicidal thoughts occurring during depression. This is because depression can affect a person differently but also because there is a complex set of factors that may result in depression. One person may be experiencing depression symptoms like exhaustion and hopelessness while another may have thoughts of suicide or homicidal tendencies. Both could, in fact, be suffering from clinical depression.

What Are the Four Types of Depression?

The main four types of depression are major depression, persistent depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). There are two other forms which occur only in women: perinatal depression (sometimes called postpartum depression) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) which is a severe version of PMS.

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